4 Ways To Avoid Burnout

Burnout is real.

As new personal trainers, the thought of burnout, or getting tired of personal training, doesn’t seem like a possibility. We’re living our dream, right? Getting to work in a gym, help people, make our own hours, and we get to wear shorts (or leggings) and T-shirts as work attire.

How can you get sick of that?

Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence in the field. Burn out is a big reason why the average personal trainer only lasts about a year in the profession.

Fear not though, as there are ways to avoid burnout. The following tips and tricks that can be used to stave off the feeling of wanting to quit, most of which are fairly easy to put in place.

Start implementing these right away, and save yourself from future frustration.

Is this what you’re really meant to do?

As harsh as this may sound, personal training isn’t for everyone. You may love working out and being in the gym; you dig in to all the latest info on training and nutrition, but there’s much more to personal training than that. Just because you can train yourself, doesn’t mean all your clients are going to be just like you (most of your clients will have VERY different goals than you).

At its core, personal training is about helping people. Helping people reach THEIR goals, not yours. If you don’t understand this from the beginning, you could be in for a rude awakening. Make sure this is exactly what you want to do.

Set limits on your time

If you understand part one and you’re truly in this to help people, you may have a hard time saying no to people wanting to train with you.

5am? No problem. Noon? Absolutely. 8pm? I can fit you in.

Not only does this mean you’ll be working extremely long hours, but it opens up the chance that you have long breaks between clients, which can ruin momentum for your day.

I’ve been through this before myself (and continue to struggle with it), but you have to put a cap on the times you’re willing to take clients. Doing this let’s you create a schedule that is going to keep you from working extreme hours and can narrow your focus on times to seek clients.

It’s also important to work ON your business as well as in it to keep progressing, which this will allow you to do. Once you bracket your times to accept clients, you can assign off times to work on the areas that are important to keep your business building and thriving.

Schedule time for your own workouts

On a similar line to setting limits on your time, make sure you’re scheduling in time for yourself to workout. I am of the opinion that your body is your billboard, your self advertisement. This doesn’t mean you have to be jacked or shredded, but you should embody someone your clients look up to.

Also, your coaching becomes much more effective in that you can connect with your clients better, sharing your struggles in workouts or exercises.

Personally, the biggest reason I schedule in my own workouts is for the mental clarity, focus, and stress release. We all know that exercise increases our “feel good” neurotransmitters and is one of the best (the best?) anti-anxiety drug there is.

Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself

There are many experts who will say you need to find a niche for the type of people you work with. It gives you a more impactful voice if you market to a particular demographic, instead of trying to be everything to everyone.

I agree with this, to a certain extend. I think it’s great if you’re known for one or two specialties, but don’t let that limit you to only working with those people. If you mainly work with athletes, don’t shun the general population. If you primarily work with people one-on-one, try incorporating some small groups into your schedule.

Variety keeps your day/week/month/year from getting repetitive and stale, keeping you sharp and engaged. It doesn’t matter if you eat, sleep, and breathe football, if football players are the only people you work with, there’s a good chance boredom/apathy will creep in.

On a deeper level, working with a variety of clients will make you a better coach. You’ll use more motivational tactics, exercises, communication strategies, cues, etc that you can implement with the rest of your clients. Each session should be a learning experience in some fashion, so put it to good use.

Whether you’re a new trainer just getting started or a seasoned vet, these tips will help avoid frustration, stagnation and burnout. Start implementing these right away and watch how your sessions/days become more enjoyable.

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